July 19, 2018 / 5:05 PM

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Are 76 Arrests at Ultra Music Festival 2015 a Good or Bad Thing? Depends What Media Outlet You Ask


Depending on where you read your summary of last weekend's Ultra Music Festival, you may have come away with different ideas about whether the Miami electronic music event was a safe success or another round of EDM anarchy. Consider these headlines...the first is from Yahoo! News: "76 arrested at electronic music festival in Miami." Then compare it with that of Dancing Astronaut, a site specializing in electronic coverage: "Only 76 arrests made at Ultra Music Festival; lowest since 2012."

So was the event a success as Dancing Astronaut suggests, or is the nightmare of crime just down during 2015, relatively?

All we can do is compare it to Lollapalooza, another large music festival that's held very near to a major metropolis (meaning more law enforcement to go around). According to DNAinfo, only 34 were arrested during the last rendition of the event, while 100 were issued citations.

Half as many arrests seems rather damning to Ultra, but it should be taken with a grain of salt: Following last year's debacle at Ultra, which featured a death and a security guard in critical condition after being trampled, it's understandable that the city of Miami was doing its all to ensure that this year's event was safe, which may have pressured officers to make arrests versus letting minor offenders off the hook.

Still, arrests were down from last year's count. The lower number of arrests may also result from tighter security at the entrance to the festival, which made concertgoers less likely to be trouble one they exited.

Not all news was good: A 22 year-old man was found dead after attending the festival, but injuries suggest the death was the result of an assault, not chemicals. Another man is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle, but again it's tough to place blame on intoxication.

If nothing else, the city of Miami seemed pleased with the weekend.

"Ultra came through and did what they said they were going to do," said Frank Carollo, Miami's city commissioner. "As a world-class city, we should be able to hold world-class events."

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